Senate Passes MoH, National Public Health Institute Act

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The Senate yesterday voted unanimously to pass into Law an Act establishing the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL).

The overriding objective of the new MoH Act is to amend the Act that established the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoH/SW) and create the MoH, while the Act establishing the National Public Health Institute of Liberia now repeals the Act that created the National Research

Institute of Liberia, commonly known as Liberia Institute for Biomedical Research (LIBRI).

Additionally, Section 30.2 (d, e, o) of the 1972 Executive Law, title 12 of the Liberian Code of Law revised, will be amended, transferring Public Health and Biomedical Research functions of the Ministry of Health to the National Public Health Institute of Liberia.

Under the new Act, there will be three departments at the MoH, including Health Services, Administration, and Planning and Development.

The process of discussing the two critical Acts to the Health Sector took the joint Legislative Committees from the House of Representatives and Senate to Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, and Ganta, Nimba County. The last public hearing on the two legislations was held last
Wednesday, and brought together members of the Joint Committee on Gender, Health, Social Welfare, Women and Children Affairs and Judiciary, Claims and Petitions from the House of Representatives and the Senate in the Chamber of the Senate.

It may be recalled that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf recently sent for enactment into law the two legislations, which she said would contribute to the development and sustainability of the public health workforce; develop, enhance and expand the surveillance and response platforms; develop and strengthen the laboratory system and public health diagnostics; and expand, conduct and coordinate public health and medical research to perform Liberia’s public health policies.

The Act is now on its way to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

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